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The mining barge
The canal barges are flat, ornate watercraft built for speedy transport along the canals found on the planet Mars of the 19th century.


In Martian Dreams, the barges are the only reliable way to quickly traverse the many channels that criss-cross the planet - once the emptied martian canals are restored. Controlled by means of a simple steering lever, they are built with protective railings and armed with cannons for defense against the extremely aggressive canal worms.

Barges vary in size depending on their original purpose:

A smaller, unarmed barge
  • The mining barge is a huge barge, which has mining tracks on it and a total of six cannons, facing all directions. It is used in mining operations to transport the mining carts to their destination. The Avatar found one in Martian Dreams near the city of Hellas at 27°S, 62°E.
  • Since the channels are smaller near Argyre, another, smaller type of barge has to be used to enter them. One is found at 4°S 7°W, and has only a single mounted cannon, but it was essential to enter Argyre.
  • Two smaller barges also exist, but these have no onboard armament; one is found at 8°N 162°W (and has a martian lamp); the smallest is at 25°S 120°W. These are less useful, as they tend to hinder the progress of the other barges along the canals.


The canals functioned as a source of water, a medium of transportation (thanks to the very efficient barges, complete with cannon to repel the awful canal worms), and a city fortification, similar to medieval moats.